Understanding transitions from homogeneous to localized flow, and mechanisms underlying flow localization, is of paramount importance for deformation processing of magnesium. In this study, a shear based deformation method is utilized for imposing large strains (similar to 1), under controllable strain rates (10-10(5)/s) and temperatures (80-300 degrees C), in order to examine flow patterns in a magnesium alloy. Based on microstructure characterization, deformation twinning is suggested to contribute to the localized flow at temperatures below 200 degrees C and at low strain rates. The transition from the localized to homogeneous flow with increasing temperature is due to reduction in twinning activity, and enhanced strain-rate sensitivity. At constant temperature, an increase in the strain rate decreases the propensity for flow localization. A model is presented for characterizing the maximum uniform strain as a function of temperature and deformation state (simple shear, plane-strain compression). The model incorporates temperature-sensitive microstructural changes and flow properties of magnesium into a classical framework to capture the flow localization phenomena at low temperatures and strain rates. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.